Since I’ve been blogging for a couple of months now, I have friends who are asking me “how do you blog?”.

Seems like a simple enough question, so I figured I’d blog about it (seems a little redundant blogging about blogging, but here goes).

The first step of course is to set up your blog.

This for me was very simple, since my hosting provider (1and1.com) includes a Blog widget in their web site tools.  This seems like a straightforward approach if you have a hosting service since most of them have blog software already setup, and you don’t need to worry about any installation or maintenance issues. So in the case of a provider like mine, you just find the website application on their control panel, and walk through a few steps to set it up.

Setting up the blog on 1and1 (at least on my package) you get a control panel page that shows you what blogs you have set up. You click the button “New Blog”, and you get sent to a screen that asks you to name the blog, and choose a domain.

This was my first gotcha in setting up the blog: I chose my accuweaver.com domain, and instantly my home page became an empty blog.

Apparently the wizard just changes the virtual host to point to the blog software, which would be OK for a brand new web site, but wasn’t what I wanted.

After that stumble, I created what 1and1 calls a subdomain of blog.accuweaver.com to point to. This let me keep my existing site, and created a separate URL for the blog. The blog setup also lets you create the admin user, and decide which email notifications should go to.  Then all you have to do is choose your template, and start blogging.

Now I need to point out that there are lots of other ways to blog. My parents have both been blogging longer than I have, and they use one of the free blogging services (See my Dad’s blog at http://www.virtualbob35.blogspot.com and my Mom at http://closeknitweave.blogspot.com/).

Google hosts this service, and it works pretty much the same way as the WordPress version that I use, but it isn’t tied to a hosting provider. This is probably the best approach for most people, and it also has the same flexibility of hosting on your own web server if you  want to.

If you really want to do your due diligence, you can go to http://www.weblogmatrix.org/and compare all the hundreds of blogging software options, but based on sheer name recognition, it really boils down to WordPress, TypePad and Blogger.

Anyway, that’s enough for this post, there are lots of other blogs out there with information about how to start blogging that do a more step by step sort of guide (I like the one by Paul Stamatiou at http://paulstamatiou.com/2006/05/14/how-to-start-blogging, it’s very thorough and easy to read)

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